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  • Writer's picturezoe kung

The relationship between hormones and migraines

Minnesota Rochester - Migraine ( Migraine ) patients clearly know their throbbing of pain may be severe debilitating. The pain is not the same between the sexes. Studies show that women with migraines have three times as many men.

Although the cause of this gender difference has not yet been determined, experts believe that hormones play an important role in it. Stephanie Faubion, MD, director of Mayo Clinic's Office of Women's Health and lead author of an overview of women's migraine published on Mayo Clinic Proceedings , explains why women's risk of migraine changes throughout their lives and hormones are in treatment Potential role.

How is migraine different from other types of headaches? Migraine is characterized by throbbing, pulsating pain — usually on one side of the head. It can be moderate to severe pain and can last from 4 to 72 hours. These headaches are usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. In some cases, people have symptoms before or during migraines. These are symptoms of the nervous system and may include seeing light flashing, blind spots or tingling on one side of the face or arms or legs.

Is there a certain period in a woman's life when the risk of migraine is higher? According to Dr. Faubion, the answer to this question is a clear yes.

Dr. Faubion said: "We don't know why women are more likely to suffer from migraines than men, but we know that women are more likely to develop the disease during periods of hormonal changes in women's lives." When girls start menstruation, migraines The likelihood will increase. Women also have an increased risk of migraines after childbirth and during perimenopause (women's ovaries begin to produce less estrogen). By the time you reach menopause, about 40% of women have migraines.

What role do hormones play in causing migraines in women? A sudden decrease in the female hormone estrogen can trigger migraines in women. In fact, up to 70% of women with migraine reported a link between their onset of migraine and their periods. Menstrual-related migraines are usually not accompanied by the aforementioned symptoms.

Dr. Faubion said, "The typical time of onset of menstrual migraine is from one to two days before the start of menstruation, and it lasts one to two days after the start of menstruation."

During pregnancy, when estrogen levels rise, most women report improvement in their migraine. But after childbirth, estrogen levels drop sharply and women may experience severe migraines. During menopause, women may experience migraines more often because of a sudden drop in estrogen levels.

Dr. Faubion said "Migraines may become unstable during the perimenopause period, but in general, migraines will no longer occur after menopause."

What are the treatments for women with migraine? If standard migraine treatments don't work, hormonal contraceptives (such as contraceptives, patches and vaginal rings) may help. These hormone therapies prevent a sudden drop in estrogen levels when used continuously.

Dr. Faubion said: "If estrogen decline can be avoided, migraine attacks can often be prevented."

She said that for those who have hormone-related migraine, who are healthy and who can take birth control pills, she usually prescribes low-dose contraceptives until they reach menopause.

Although hormone therapy is not suitable for everyone, it may help some women get rid of menstrual-related migraines.

Dr. Faubion said: "When you lose a week of time every month due to migraines, this is not a trivial matter."

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